With the constant focus on academic achievement in our children’s lives and education, it is easy to forget about the importance that creativity has for children. It is often creative leaps that have informed the progress of academic subjects, as well as the progress of business.
However, we are all much more than just the exams we pass and the certificates we collect. As Einstein said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.” It’s imagination that changes the world.
In this post, we have compiled everything you should know about the importance and the benefits of creativity for children.
Why is creativity important for kids?
It is creativity that drives change and innovation. Creativity is the exploration of new thoughts, ideas and new ways of solving problems. Exploring those things helps a child grow mentally and helps them express themselves and develop emotionally. It gives a child a taste of independence and autonomy and it sets them up for a richer world of work.
It is important to understand that creativity is not just about art and music, it is also fundamental to science, maths, language, invention, technology, and social and emotional intelligence.
How do you explain creativity to a child?
Creativity is about the ability to see things in new ways, unconventionally or uniquely. But if you let them explore then you won’t have to explain it. They will experience it and you will see them doing it.
How to teach creativity to your child
There are several important things you can do as a parent to reap the benefits of creativity for children, including developing the imaginative and problem-solving skills in your child:
- Encourage them to question things and to be curious why things are the way they are – why, how, what if. Give their questions answers, show them how to research things
- Nourish their curiosity by exposing them to culture and discussions about topics and issues in the world
- Dial down on the use of gadgets – play creative games with them and give them creative tasks so they need to think ‘out of the box’
- Demonstrate there isn’t necessarily one way to solve a problem if they appreciate that different perspectives on a problem can mean different solutions then creativity kicks in
- Encourage reading books gives your child portals into other worlds, other thoughts, other solutions. This richness of thinking and experience will open their minds
- Don’t pigeonhole your child’s intelligence there are different types of intelligence and these develop over time. Give them the opportunity to express and explore and find what they do best
- Give them space and free time to explore, so don’t schedule their time too strictly. There are now so many things for children to join after school and at the weekends that we run the risk of filling all their time and depriving them of the aimless wonder of exploration
Never reward your child for being creative, just praise the result. You want them to do it because they are motivated to do them, not because you do.
Why is creativity important during time away from school?
School and good teachers give structure and access to knowledge. Freedom from structure and textbooks and the time to explore beyond the curriculum, further stretches and enriches the mind. School, along with increasing academic pressure, often bring stress into our children’s lives which needs to be alleviated and released, and creativity can do that as well as enrich the imagination and give freedom to self-expression.